At the Nexus 2016 Global Youth Summit I was in this workshop, “How Is Your Communication Style HELPING AND HURTING Your Family?” It was good. Here’s the handout from Tom Rogerson and Wilmington Trust.

Page 1: Family Office Workshop

Page 1: Family Office Workshop

Page 2: Family Office Workshop

Page 2: Family Office Workshop

Here’s the body copy of these images:

How Is Your Communication Style HELPING AND HURTING Your Family?

Description of Workshop

Tom Rogerson is excited to return to the Nexus family this year, kicking off a meaningful discussion on communication styles and how they affect our ability to manage business or familial conflict. Get ready for a collaborative experience between Tom, new friends, and the Nexus community as we learn together!


The idea of communication sounds easy, but communication means many different things to different people. For some, communicating involves organizing one’s thoughts before speaking while others focus on listening. Then there are those who believe it is best to speak more, or to speak louder and with enthusiasm. These are very different approaches coming from the same word. In their book, Preparing Heirs, Williams and Pressier interviewed more than 3,000 families that failed to preserve their family businesses, wealth, and sense of family. According to these family members, 60% of the failure was due to the lack of communication and trust, 25% of the failure was caused by unprepared heirs, while only 3% of the failure could be blamed on mistakes in planning and investing.

Tom will administer ‘The Interpersonal Leadership Style’ test, which will identify the individual leadership preferences that drive a family, and the communication styles that are over dominating or being silenced and underutilized.

What works? Family Advancement Trust: Investing into your family not distributing to your family

Tom’s goal in helping individuals and families to establish better communication and define family values is to create a strong foundation. The next step towards developing a mature family governance process is to create a Family Advancement Trust. Families that have succeeded at preserving family relationships and wealth for multiple generations have generally endowed pools of resources to invest in the family relations, development, and advancement. These are not trusts to pay for education elsewhere, but trusts designed to educate. Many of us are focused around the idea of defending a portfolio, but shouldn’t we also be defending the integrated estate plan and preparing the family for it all? We often see families are more apt to endow a Chair at a university to educate strangers than to endow a Chair at the family table to educate the family.

What’s next?

Tom works with families all of the world to help them improve communication, preserve wealth or business interests and provide a catalyst to affect change, philanthropically and otherwise. Whether it’s facilitating family meetings or setting up a family advancement trust, Tom firmly believes that the first step towards taking this new knowledge and empowering your family is to embrace the learning process and discover more about yourselves in the pursuit of family unity and business or philanthropic success!

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